Review Detail

Kids Fiction 989
Selznick for the Very Young
Overall rating 
 
4.5
Plot/Characters/Writing Style 
 
4.0
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable) 
 
5.0
In this very early chapter book, Selznick fuses his trademark cross hatched pencil sketches with addictively repetitive picture book text in a middle grade novel trim size. Still with me? We learn who Baby Monkey is (a baby monkey) and that he has crimes to solve in a particular way, mainly, by looking for clues, writing notes, struggling mightily to put on his pants, and then immediately capturing the culprit. The pictures are adorable, the text (which is in about a 50 point font)is simple, and the final case endearing to the very young who still want to snuggle with their mamas.
Good Points
As we expect from this illustrator, this is a very cute, humorous, well done book that and introduces the film noir detective style to toddlers. The notes at the back of the book about the details in the pictures for each case were incredibly detailed and pertinent to the content.

This is the same dimensions as a regular middle grade novel, so it's a good choice for beginning or struggling readers who want to read a "big book", but is about the same level as I Can Read or Step Into Reading books. The five chapters are each about as long as one of those books, but tie together in an interesting way.

Readers who like Quackenbush's Henry's Awful Mistake and the other books in that series, or that author's Sherlock Chick books are sure to find Baby Monkey uproariously delightful. Be warned-- I can see this book being a huge favorite that has to be read every night at bedtime until it falls apart!
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